Fieldfisher merges with Italian firm

UK firm Fieldfisher has merged with Italy’s Studio Associato Servizi Professionali Integrati (SASPI).

The merger will take effect 1 July. It will be structured as a Swiss verein, with SASPI adopting the Fieldfisher brand name and the two firms maintaining separate profit pools.

SASPI, which has 170 staff in total including 21 partners, has offices in Milan, Rome, Venice and Turin.

The combination will take Fieldfisher’s staff numbers to 970 and office count to 13.

SASPI was set up in 2002 by EY’s former Italy head in charge of corporate finance, legal and fiscal services, John Stewart. He brought three EY partners with him to the firm.

Stewart is managing partner of SASPI, a role he will retain after the merger.

The Italian firm has around 450 clients, 80% of which are multinationals such as Apple, Amazon, BMW, Deutsche Post, Total and Italian banking group Intesa Sanpaolo.

Fieldfisher managing partner Michael Chissick said there are “clear opportunities for cross-selling and cooperation” between the two firms.

He added: “In particular, the agreement will strengthen our European employment, banking, corporate and tax groups – areas in which SASPI is particularly strong.”

Stewart said the aim was “to make Fieldfisher the largest law firm in Italy”. He also highlighted the firm’s “geographic reach” and “reputation in technology, IP and banking” as key factors in agreeing to the deal.

Earlier this month, Fieldfisher saw its average profit per equity partner grow by 8.7% to £550,000 in the 2015-16 financial year.

The firm’s unaudited revenue also rose 7.5% to £121.5m.

The Italy deal comes as the firm seeks to bolster its presence in continental Europe to support its international client base. This includes further development of its German, French and Belgian bases, alongside its Silicon Valley and Shanghai offices.